HANDY AT THE HEIGHTS
If you want to pick small items at various levels or have to carry out work at height, you can of course start with a movable ladder. However, it can be considerably more convenient, safer and more economical, shown by EP Equipment with the JX1. In our test, the smart truck not only proves to be right on this, it also sets a benchmark when it comes to speed, stability and ease of use.
Whether it concerns batch picking or single order picking, smart picking of small items is a daily issue for many companies. Certainly, when it comes to the fast-growing e-commerce sector and when there is an increase in the range of articles and the ‘depletion’ of the available number of pick locations. The solution generally lies in picking at the second storage level and higher. It is exactly for this application that EP Equipment developed the JX1, a compact, palletless and manoeuvrable man-up truck. Thanks to the platform lift up to 4.880 mm, the truck offers a picking- / working height of up to 6,500 mm. So also replacing that lamp or other work at height are no longer a problem.
The EP JX1 describes itself as a medium level order picker with a load capacity of 500 kg. The operator can place the load on the platform (525 x 785 mm) formed by a sturdy mesh grid that is mounted directly in front of the cab. At the rear of the truck we also find a second platform that you can fold if you do not need it. Thanks to the optionally available trailer coupling it is also possible to connect one or more wagons of a ‘tow train’.
With the Crown Wave 60 we already tested a similar vehicle before, but the JX1 is not completely comparable. This Chinese truck is more an intermediate between the work assist vehicle and an industrial order picker. The truck is more than twice as heavy and contains more iron in its chassis- and mast construction. Based on these facts, we expect the EP JX1 to have a higher energy consumption and perhaps also be less agile and productive. We are very curious about the measurement results.
Via the folding safety gate you can easily step on the platform. The step height is 265 mm on the pleasantly low side. The plateau measures 770 x 410 mm and is spacious enough to move well. The deadman switch is sunk into the floor, but it forces you to stand in a certain way. This facility from our perspective might be integrated in the entire floor unit for more freedom of choice in the position of the right foot.
Another point for improvement is the space that the folding gate offers. Not all parts of the fence move all the way up so that the entry / exit opening is not completely free and there is a chance that you will bump into it. EP Equipment promises improvement.The JX1 can only be operated with closed safety gates to which the consoles of steering and the mast control are attached. The steering and driving with the truck is as easy as can be. With the left hand you steer and with the right hand you control the driving speed by a tilt switch. This right console is also equipped with three push buttons for lifting, lowering and horn.
SMOOTH AND MANAGEABLE
The small display reads the amount of battery discharge and also shows steering wheel position, running hours, speed and driving programs. The dashboard is equipped with a handy paper compartment. The backrest on the truck is of the ‘one size fits all’ type and is not adjustable. The lack of this adjustment option does not bother us.
On our test course we collect 8 small items at different heights. Where possible, we drive diagonally to the locations to be as efficient as possible. The JX1 gets this job done with remarkable ease. The truck runs smoothly and manageable. He thereby safely reduces the driving speed at increased heights. Compared to the Crown the JX1 from EP Equipment has a striking stability that you experience as a driver. The mast runs smoothly in and out, but the lifting speed is less then that of the previously tested American counter part. When you descend, an acoustic signal sounds and both red signal lights flash.
PERFORMANCE AND ENERGY CONSUMPTION
During the test, it appears that the JX1 is easy to operate and the truck drives very predictably, so that we get through the narrow passage quickly. In combination with the good diagonal speed, we score almost 20% more picks with the EP JX1 than with the Crown WAV.
The other side of the coin is the substantial (175%) higher energy consumption of the much heavier JX1. With the 4 maintenance-free gel batteries of the JX1, we achieve a practical deployment time of 4 hours while the Crown can be used for 10 hours. If a longer period of use is required, the JX1 can be equipped with a conventional lead-acid battery with 50% more capacity on board. The truck has a roller bed for quickly changing the battery container. On our test truck the on board battery charger is equipped, integrated in the battery container.
The robust character, the stability and simple operation are certainly the strengths of the JX1 from EP Equipment. The concept can be seen as an intermediate truck for occasional work on heights and the industrial order picker. The truck is convenient, simple and effective. It allows a smooth way of single-item order picking up to heights of 6,500 mm. In this way it is easy to set up pick locations at multiple levels. The JX1 is also a handy helper for all kinds of jobs at height. The energy consumption is on the high side, although the possibility of a 50% larger battery capacity or a spare battery package offers extra capacity. The folding door may open slightly wider. For the rest, this warehouse truck reads like an open book.
- Easy handling
- Energy consumption
- More spacious opening of safety gates
- Dead man’s pedal